Sheffield Utd v Stevenage: Blades proud except for poor five minutes

Nigel Clough (Picture: Martyn Harrison).

Nigel Clough (Picture: Martyn Harrison).

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Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough concedes there has been a “subdued” atmosphere around the club’s Shirecliffe training base since their heart-breaking FA Cup semi-final defeat to Hull City on Sunday.

The Blades gave their Premier League opponents an almighty scare at Wembley before succumbing to a 5-3 defeat.

Despite the club earning plaudits for the way they conducted themselves, Clough says that he has had to lift his players once again as they return to the bread and butter of League One action against relegation-threatened Stevenage tonight.

“Subdued – the over-riding feeling has been one of disappointment despite how we did,” said Clough.

“Everything else was unbelievble on the day and the club came out of it in a very good light, showing the rest of the country we’re alive and kicking.

“So we’re proud of everything, there’s just the disappointment from the game. That five minutes after half-time is something we have to live with.”

Reaching the play-offs is not mathematically impossible for the Blades and while thoughts have already turned to next season, Clough says he will continue to field his strongest team until the end of the current campaign.

He added: “Training has been good, Tuesday was an important session psychologically and physically and we’re looking forward to the remaining five games.”

Last six games: Sheffield United WLDDWL, Stevenage LLDDLL.

Last time: Sheffield United 4 Stevenage 1; November 17, 2012; League One.

Referee: M Brown (East Yorkshire).

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